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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Look At The First Two Days Of The Harrisburg Yearling Sale

Last year Dragon Again, who has been relocated to Ohio, was far from a star at the Harrisburg sale. Despite the plethora of fast, long lasting and versatile pacers on his resume, there was little or no high end demand for him. 29% of the 31 sold brought 15K or less and only one brought at least 50K. He outdid that mediocre performance in the first two days of this year’s sale. Seven Dragon Agains have already topped the 50K mark: Jimmy Takter bought a colt for 77K; Jack Darling got a filly for 55K; Ed Mullinax bought a colt for 70K; while Kelly O’Donnell picked up one for 52K and Mark Harder paid 77K for one. Synergie Montreal bought a filly for 70K and Guy Antonacci got one for 55K. They probably should have shipped Yankee Cruiser off to Timbuktu and kept Dragon Again in Pennsylvania.


Pete Spears told HRU he scoured the earth in an attempt to have as many buyers as possible at Harrisburg. He wasn’t blowing smoke. A Donato Hanover-Continentalvictory colt was purchased for 38K by one Vladimir Postakuhin from Moscow. And the same gentleman bought another Donato colt for 28K and a Muscle Hill colt for 19K. I hope they came with free shipping.


The Cancelliere brothers are in the habit of forking over large sums for well connected yearlings. They paid 825K for Detour Hanover, a full brother to Donato; they went to 425K for Some Of The Beach, a full brother to SBSW; and they spent 325K on Sweet Talkin Clyde, a Well Said half to Bettor Sweet and Sweet Lou. And recently at the Lexington Selected Sale, they gave 450K for a Lucky Chucky half to Muscle Massive and Muscle Mass. That’s by no means all of their mega dollar purchases.

They have been somewhat restrained during the first two days of the Harrisburg sale, but the brothers couldn’t resist spending 300K on a full brother to Sweet Talkin Clyde. They also picked up a Rocknroll Heaven half brother to Lis Mara and Lisagain for 135K, as well as another Well Said colt for 80K and a Cantab Hall colt for 105K.


Canadians are out in force and they brought their money with them. Roughly a quarter of the yearlings sold on day one went to them, and it doesn’t appear that things have changed going forward. Synergie Montreal is averaging 113K on five high end purchases. They did spend 47K on a Kadabra colt, but the other four, which are for more money are US breds. They paid 180K for a Rocknroll Heaven colt out of Gro and 185K for a Muscle Hill colt.

Overall it appears that Canadians are buying four New York or PA eligibles for every OSS eligible. And the money spent on the latter is often—not always—quite a bit less. The folks up North, and those running the sale, can thank the clueless/self-serving bunch at Kentuckiana Stallion Management for announcing that Muscle Mass, the very promising young trotting stallion, will be relocated to New York, on the second day of the sale. That will certainly suck some wind from the sails of anyone buying for the Canadian market.

Kadabra has been beaten down at the sales the last couple of years; he was down 52% at Harrisburg last year and only 13% of them topped 50K. Over the first two days of this year’s sale Mel Hartman bought a filly for 160K; David McDuffee bought another for 140K; Tommy Andersson picked up a colt for 85K and Greg McNair a filly for 67K; still, too many of them are selling cheap.

If Kadabra and Shadow Play leave, they may as well turn out the lights.


Chris Ryder bought a half brother to Dynamic Youth by 26-year-old Camluck for 140K.


Top Swedish trotting horseman, Ake Svenstadt, who recently relocated to the United States, has been busy at the sale. He purchased seven yearlings on days one and two for an average of 62K. Although he has no experience with pacers: when in Rome….He bought a Rocknroll Heaven colt for 40K and a Western Ideal for 30. His assistant trainer, Bjorn Noren, will help him get acclimated to the sidewinders. Svenstadt also picked up a pair of Andover Hall colts, a Cantab Hall colt, a Muscle Hill and a Muscle Massive filly. And he’ll be training a full brother to Muscle Hill that another Swedish based group bought.


The Captain’s boss, Myron Bell, averaged a hefty 84K on the five purchases he made on the first two days. 150K of that went for a SBSW colt……I’ll pass on the white colt….Will take a more thorough look at the sale when the yearling portion is over.....The fact that a casino was voted down by those living in the immediate are of Suffolk Downs probably means the almost eighty-year-old operation will be shuttered. This could give a boost to the Plainridge bid for a slots license since that track would face the same fate and the Gaming Commission probably doesn't want to be responsible for killing racing in the state.



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